Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bio Bay a Bust

The highpoint of this evening was to be a trip out to the bioluminescent bay - a local attraction. Technically, it is called Mosquito Bay (with good reason), but is called Bioluminescent Bay because it is filled with a plankton that, when disturbed by, say, a passing boat, paddle, or swimmer, glows in the water. Hilary and her folks partook the last time they were here, and the effect was said to be amazing. They went out with a guide in open kayaks, and slipped over the side to swim around. The water dripping off their arms and legs would even glow a bit.

So it was with great anticipation that we drove down to Banana's bar in Esperanza this evening to meet up with our guide - Berito. With a couple of kayaks strapped to the top of is little Isuzu, he lead us on an increasingly-poor dirt road to our put-in point. It was 10-15 minutes of very dicey driving that in other places would be considered mild off-roading. In our rented Caravan, it was definitely an impressive bit of work on Holly's part to keep making headway.

The kayaks were, as I said, open - kind of like sitting on top of a hard-plastic lozenge. Tandems, too. We launched and headed out into the water.

Unfortunately, observing this faint bioluminescing phenomenon is premised on some good night vision conditions. With the moon hanging almost straight above past first quarter there was a fair bit of light about. The phenomenon is also, of course, premised on the conditions being right biologically. Alas, Olga has passed by a week or two back and churned everything all to heck. Plus, the tide was out, which affected things further. As it happens, these things were already known to us, and made our crew only five for this outing. We had tried to arrange things such that our six elders would get their tour from a pontoon boat, while us four young'ens would do the kayak thing. The pontoon boat tours are out for the next week at least, owing to the aforementioned waxing moon and spot of difficulty with Olga.

So, after paddling in a wide circle for 15 minutes or so, we (us four and my dad) had to admit that there wasn't anything really to see tonight. Bummer. We headed back to shore and pulled out. Our guide, Berito, was gracious with his apologies, and would not accept payment for a no-show show. But, for his troubles, he would accept a drink from us back at Bananas.

So, fifteen minutes of suspension flexing, oil-pan threatening, sidewall straining driving back to the paved roadway, and we were back in Esperanza. The round ordered, we sat around to learn that the world is, in fact, increasingly small. Berito's ex-girlfriend, as it turns out, is from my hometown of Rochester, NY, and so he had been there a few times. He's planning to get his first experience with snow next month by learning to snowboard in Colorado (Steph's current home).

And here, since I've got nothing else for tonight, is the previously promised picture of an iguana. Its buddy, at the time this picture was taken, was about 15 feet higher up, trying to scale the top of a telephone pole. Why? Only he knew.

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